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I've recently discovered this hidden gem. This is a much darker Anime then I expected. It is created by CLAMP and is seinen (for adults 18-30). It's got a little bit of everything as most good Animes do. What's unique about this Anime is how they blend very interesting mystical themes with modern life and it's all done with awesome animation. It's quite nice because you get some interesting insights into Japanese superstitions. Honestly it can be a little chilling sometimes. The Japanese voice cast is great and the music is very fitting. So far I've seen 19 episodes (Animesuki) and I'm looking forward to more of this unique experience.
xxxHolic is an incredibly unique anime. It follows Watanuki Kimihiro, a
high school student who can see spirits and is plagued by them on an
everyday basis. One day, he wanders into the wish-granting shop of the
witch Yuko, who claims that she can grant any wish in exchange for a
price. So, Watanuki becomes a part-time employee at her shop in
exchange for the granting of his wish: to no longer be able to see
spirits. And thus, we are thrown into the world of the supernatural as
it appears in everyday life.
Using superstitions and other paranormal aspects, xxxHolic conveys messages and morals with humor and some actual frights. xxxHolic presents a look at life from a very unique perspective. A must-see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I started watching this series on Funimation's YouTube channel but
before I'd finished I bought the DVDs as I was enjoying it so much. The
series follows Watanuki; a high school student who has always been
haunted by dark spirits; that is until he comes across a strange shop
run by Yuko. It isn't an ordinary shop; this shop is where people's
wishes can come true
for a price. The price Watanuki pays is that he
ends up working at the shop that in turn means he gets involved in the
lives of other people who go there. Some of the people who go there
manage to have their wishes granted and can get on with their lives;
others are less fortunate as they can't tell the truth about what they
This series was a lot of fun with great characters; enjoyable stories and a very distinctive look to it. The characters are all drawn in a way that makes them look very tall and thin; this somehow adds to the atmosphere of the show. The episodes are mostly stand-alone stories that vary in tone from dark, where people might die to the more comic where events are played for laughs. More often than not the amusing scenes involve Shizuka Domeki; a boy who Watanuki seems to need but dislikes. If you have yet to see this series from Studio Clamp than I recommend checking it out.
These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I do love this show a lot but there are some problems in it too.
Inconsistencies between the manga and the anime make me cringe just a
tad. Now I have not actually read the manga, but I have seen enough to
find that some of the artwork is not right, but we will get to that in
a moment. This is pretty much Pet Shop of Horrors with wishes and
spirits; sometimes their good, and sometimes they will try to rip you
The story follows a fail of a boy named Watanuki. Pretty much everything he does, he messes up with and is always hunted down by spirits. He is the only one who can see them which makes him look like a fool most of the time when he runs around the town from spirits that seem to not exist. Now here is where some of the inconsistencies that I found. Almost every picture I have seen of him has two different eye colors but yet, the anime has given him both blue eyes. I am not sure exactly which is true but it's what I've seen from the manga, it's supposed to be the later.
Yuuko is an interesting character and from what I've seen, they are actually alike between the manga and anime at least in looks. She has a way of getting what she wants with no worry as to what will happen to the other person although I believe she always knows it will work out. I never once saw her worried that something may happen.
If Watanuki wears his emotions on his sleeve, Domeki is the exact opposite. Maybe that's why they make a great pair. Domeki cancels all of Watanuki's crazy antics, giving mostly a base monotone as he speaks. I wish he was actually in the show more often and given a bigger role because it was really fun to see the conversation between him and Watanuki (and the idea of them being a yaoi pair makes my fan girl in me scream for joy...) In fact, all the characters are pretty memorable as main characters except for one. Himawari is a little two plain and cheerful all the time. Sometimes I want to smack her hard because she just gets so annoying. There are many times that Yuko gives cryptic statements about her but it is never explained what is going on with her.
I somewhat understood all that was being said but then some of what they talked about, I felt would only make sense to a Japanese person such as the game 'Angel' which seems to be a Japanese version of Ouija Board or Wigi Board. When they first talked about it, I thought that it was something else. Another thing that is bothersome to me is that no one takes her advice, which I understand, some of the reasons for it but then they get into problems and suffer for it and I just have to roll my eyes at it.
The animation is alright but all the characters are much too thin and long limbed which makes it hard to watch sometimes. Even fluid movements would never make the shows good to me. There are many times when the artwork pretty much sucks for an anime, and really makes me wonder. It surprises me that such a low design could come from Clamp. In fact, the fact that there are references to other Clamp manga's in the show is interesting if you take the time to pick them out. Sadly, the only details with this seem to be in the background except one or two things the characters end up wearing and the characters themselves are poorly lacking in detail and actual proportions with arms and legs going everywhere during freak outs. I also don't like how their eyes are all blank. They have no high lights what so ever so it makes them look dead.
I really like the English Voice acting, which to me, it's much better then the Japanese. The English has more fluid movement in fact then the Animation and feels like a cloud of smoke to the ears. At least for most of the things Yoko says. The other actors are pretty good for them going with Shizuka's monotone to the crazy way Watanuki's voice gets with some of the things he gets in to. Really I do feel sorry for the boy. The music is also really well done, giving it a really nice mystic feel to it and the opening is rather fun. I would watch this for the story line but pretty much not much else.
I started watching Xxxholic last week and it is safe to say that I am not disappointed. It has similarities to Du Ra Ra as the viewer is submerged into a world of spirits and stuff that ordinary people do not get the chance to take part in. It contains pearls of wisdom for viewers through Yuuko's narration and embodies themes of friendship, trust, and adventure. Whilst it is undoubtedly slower compared to the likes of One piece or Bleach, the pace allows for a more reflective audience and a plot of self-discovery that will warm your heart. Overall: An anime I would be sure to recommend especially for those who want a slower paced but meaningful anime.
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